A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area. A BID can be set up by the local authority, a business rate payer or a person or company whose purpose is to develop the Business Improvement District area, or that has an interest in the land in the area.
A Business Improvement District proposer is required to develop a proposal and submit this to the local authority, along with a business plan.
There is no limit on what projects or services can be provided through a BID. The only requirement is that it should be in addition to services provided by local authorities. Improvements may include, but are not limited to, extra safety/security, cleansing and environmental measures.
Typically, a BID is within a local authority boundary but in April 2013 government introduced Cross Boundary BIDs enabling BIDs to operate across local authority boundaries.
Businesses that are subject to the levy, as set out in the proposals, vote in a ballot. This determines whether the scheme goes ahead. The local authority will manage the ballot process.
In terms of business crime management, BIDs offer similar services to a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), in some areas the BID and BCRP work collectively with the BID supporting the BCRP financially and bringing the additional benefit of street resources such as Business Wardens, Street Rangers or Ambassadors. Independently BIDs can offer a radio scheme, access to crime management software for local intelligence sharing and many BIDs also run an exclusion scheme based on the law of trespass collectively excluding individuals from member premises.
For information and guidance on Business Improvement Districts, refer to the BID Gov.uk webpage.
The following organisations offer advice on the operation and implementation of Business Improvement Districts: